Wiki Tips and advice United Kingdom - English

How to clean school uniforms

School uniforms can pick up all kinds of stains, but there's no need to worry - this handy guide is here to help you wash school blazers & uniforms.

Updated By Wiki Tips English Team

a variety of school uniform clothing on a blue background

Ideally, we’d like our children’s school uniforms to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, kids’ clothes are prone to stains such as grass, food, and ink on their clothes – for children, getting messy is an essential part of having fun, exploring, and learning about the world around them. With this guide explaining how to clean a blazer at home, you’ll soon be able to handle these occasional stains with ease – so your kids can explore with impunity.

How to clean a blazer and other school uniform items: timing

We’ll be covering the exact method for cleaning blazers and other garments below, but an important aspect of school uniform care is washing with regularity. While too few washes can make garments less-than-fresh, too many washes can wear out clothes long before they should need replacing. Here’s a handy guide:

  • Shirts, trousers, and anything worn against the skin should be washed regularly — at least once a week.

  • More external clothing items, like tunics, ties, and jumpers can be washed less frequently.

  • Some parents only clean blazers every half-term, while others clean them once a week. This depends in part on the fabric of the blazer: polyester blazers are fairly easy to launder, while wool blazers often require professional dry-cleaning, which can be costly.

A clean colander is a handy tool when hand washing clothes! The sturdy structure with holes for drainage means you can gently rinse out and press the water from garments like wool blazers much more easily.

4 essential blazer and uniform washing tips

  1. Check care labels

    Always read the garment care tags and product labels before laundering or applying a stain remover. Test new products on a small, unnoticeable area of the garment first.

  2. Machine washing

    If you are machine washing uniforms on a regular basis, consider using cold water and a delicate wash cycle for blazers, skirts, trousers, and jumpers. This will help preserve them and keep them from looking faded or worn after repeated washings.

  3. Use colour care detergent

    To best preserve colours, rely on a proper colour care detergent, like those from the  range. 

  4. Tumble-drying

    If you choose to tumble-dry your kids’ school uniforms, use a low heat and the shortest possible cycle to avoid shrinkage. It’s best to remove school uniforms from the dryer while they’re still slightly damp to minimise wrinkling.

If you can’t use a washing machine on your child’s blazer, follow our tips later on in this article to learn how to dry clean a blazer at home.

Removing stains from school uniforms

The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove. Here’s a list of common problems faced by parents, with quick tips to deal with the stain. If you can’t find the stain you’re looking for, don’t worry. Here at Wiki Tips English, we have extensive advice on odour and stain removal. Remember to read the directions on the label and to test any product or method on a small area of the garment first.

  1. Grass

    Soak the garment in cold water and apply a suitable commercial stain remover or laundry liquid. For more stubborn stains, try rubbing alcohol or hairspray.

  2. Food

    Gently dab at the stain with a commercial stain remover, laundry liquid, or even dishwashing liquid.

  3. Ink

    Use hairspray or an alcohol-based solvent, like hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.

  4. Paint

    For water-based paints, flush the stain with warm water and use a commercial stain remover, laundry liquid, or rubbing alcohol.

  5. Blood

    Wash in cold water immediately, following up with soap. For stubborn stains, saturate the stain with a paste of cold water and salt for 15 minutes.

  6. Mud

    Let the mud dry, scrape as much off as possible, and then dab at the stain with a commercial stain remover or laundry liquid. Do not soak the entire garment.

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How to dry clean a blazer at home

Wool blazers often have “dry clean only” written on their labels, but washing them professionally and often can prove expensive. Here is a way to clean these blazers at home without breaking the bank. Do not machine wash or use water, as it can damage the blazer permanently.

Home Dry Clean Kits – You can buy a commercial home dry clean kit at a store. Follow the kit instructions, using their stain remover first on any stains. Fabric and kit instructions permitting, seal the blazer in a dry-cleaning bag and run it inside a tumble-dryer at low heat. Afterwards, hang to dry.

With the above tips, you can care for your children’s school uniforms economically and efficiently. Whatever happens to them at school, you’ll be sure their uniforms will last longer, and look clean and fresh as they learn and play!

Originally published